The last couple of years for the Sixers have been a torrid time to say the least. From awful front office decision and consistent injuries to the devastating sweep at the hands of the Boston Celtics just last week, the Sixers have gotten themselves into a right mess.
However, this offseason gives the Sixers a way out. It started with the firing of now-former head coach Brett Brown. The move was not a surprising one, even if the process mainstay was far from the lone man responsible for such a tumultuous period. Whether the team makes more changes up-top or not, trades are almost necessary. Here are a trio of three-team trades I’ve come up with that could save the Sixers and turn them into a real contender in that Eastern Conference.
Trade 1: Hield & Others Become Sixers
Sixers get: Harrison Barnes, Terry Rozier, Buddy Hield
Kings get: Nicolas Batum, Cody Zeller, Josh Richardson, 21st pick in the 2020 draft, 2022 first-rounder via Sixers
Hornets get: Al Horford, Tobias Harris, and Zhaire Smith
With this trade, the Sixers add three guys who can shoot the lights out on any given night while dropping the two horrible contracts of Harris and Horford. It’s been well documented that the Kings do not like Buddy Hield and he’s exactly what the Sixers need on that floor.
Terry Rozier is a fantastic point guard who offers not only depth at the position, but allows the Sixers to move Ben Simmons to small forward if needed. There was a stretch of games where he was a real contender for the starting role over Kyrie Irving.
Harrison Barnes can let it rip from range on any given day. He works well with Hield and will create the space on the floor for the new shooters. He’s a great system fit for the Sixers, but that may change with a new Head Coach.
Like I mentioned before, it’s well documented that the Kings do not like Hield. However, they do understand his value to other teams so he won’t be a cheap get for the Sixers, especially when you’re taking Barnes from them too. The Kings get solid reinforcements from losing Hield and Barnes in Batum and Richardson, while adding two first-rounders from the Sixers to help them kickstart the rebuild they actually want.
The Hornets are in a great position right now. They have the 3rd overall pick in this year’s draft and are set to add a future franchise superstar, so you’re probably asking why they’d take on the contracts of Horford and Harris. It’s pretty simple. Horford and Harris are still brilliant players, they just fail to fit into the Sixers system. The Hornets become true playoff contenders in the East with Horford and Harris alongside whoever they pick with the 3rd overall this year (most likely Edwards).
Trade 2: Horford and Harris leave, Sixers add quality depth and shooting
Nets get: Tobias Harris
Rockets get: Al Horford, 21st overall pick this year via Sixers, 2021 Sixers first-rounder
Sixers get: Taurean Prince, Eric Gordon, Robert Covington, Joe Harris (sign and trade), Dario Saric (free agent)
There are three sticking points with this trade. The first is that Saric is a restricted free agent, making it difficult for the Sixers to sign him. The Rockets could also want something else, maybe a first from the Nets, but I don’t see them giving that up so it would leave the Sixers giving up someone like Korkmaz. The third is that it would have to be a draft-night trade as the Rockets will see more value in the 2021 first with it being a g-league draft.
However, the Nets would add a star quality power forward in Harris to go alongside an already stacked roster that includes guys like Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and Spencer Dinwiddie. It makes sense that the Nets would go all-in for a guy like Harris if the opportunity arises. They would be a real contender for number 1 seed in the East.
The Rockets would get a bunch of picks to either get younger or use as trade pieces later on. Taking on Horford’s contract is an obvious negative, but the Rockets are really lacking height in their entire line-up and Horford will be a fantastic addition to that Rockets lineup so they could truly contend with the Lakers and Clippers. Horford would open the floor up for Westbrook to drive to the hoop, and adds a much-needed defensive boost to the Rockets roster.
The Sixers add stupid depth to their side with guys like Taurean Prince, Eric Gordon and Robert Covington. Covington, unlike Horford, can fit that dual C/PF role that the Sixers seem to want from their backup to Embiid. Prince offers depth on the bench and Eric Gordon can be a real leader off the bench as a possible 6th man.
It also allows Ben to move to PF/SF if needed. Joe Harris is one of the best 3-point shooters in the league (42.6% career 3-point shot), while fans won’t need to be reminded that Saric is a quality shooter in his own right with a 35.8% three-point shot over his career.
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Mandatory Credit – Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire